Dear Fr. Bloom,
I am a teenager who lives in the archdioceses of Seattle. I have been a practicing Catholic all my life and really appreciate and treasure my Catholic faith. Recently, Archbishop Brunett has allowed the Latin Mass to be said at the Josephinum chapel for a period of six months. I have gone to nearly every Sunday so far and it has really helped me to re-discover the true sacredness of the mass. Everything about the mass from the Latin, kneeling for communion and receiving Jesus on the tongue, the magnificent beauty of the ancient prayers, the Gregorian chant, ect, have helped me better realize the holiness of the mass.
It is hard to explain but whenever I go to Novus Ordo mass at my church now, I end up feeling . . . unfilled I guess you could say. As human beings we observe things through our senses and everything about the Traditional mass helps to lift my heart up to God. I find that the Novus Ordo mass falls somewhat short. I know they may be little things but kneeling for communion, and listening to the beauty of Gregorian chant as opposed to contemporary folk guitars, help me concentrate on what is really going on. I guess my question to you is this. Why has the mass been so drastically altered? Why does the priest face us instead of the east? Why did Catholics stop receiving Our Lord in communion on their knees? And finally, will the present liturgy ever be . . . renewed in order to restore the beauty and sacredness? Thank you very much
PS. Thank you very much for all the work you have put in on your web page. You have helped greatly in answering many of my questions.
Thank you for your email. Is it OK if I post it on my website? Your experience will be an inspiration to others, especially other young people who might also read this website.
You have some very good questions. Have you read Spirit of the Liturgy by Cardinal Ratzinger? He delves into the questions you raise - and gives a lot to think about. Of course, it is important to remember that at every Mass Jesus becomes truly and substantially present. Before Him we all need greater reverence, internal and external, but never stay away from the Lord, even if the externals seem very inadequate. You don't strike me as the kind of person who would. Am I correct?
Dear Father Bloom,
Thank you very much for your response and yes you can post my message on your website. It is funny that you should mention Cardinal Ratzinger's book "Spirit of the Liturgy" because I just bought it yesterday. I have heard good things about it and am looking forward to reading it. I also bought a book which you reviewed called Mass Confusion by James Akins.
I know of course that the same sacrifice happens at both the Novus Ordo and Trinitine mass but the reason I prefer the Trinitine mass is because it helps me focus on what is really taking place. Since I do not have the eyes of an angel and can only perceive things through my senses, I believe that everything about the mass should help lift my heart up to heaven. The reverence, language, music, gestures, architecture of the church, ect, should help focus my mind and more importantly my soul to what is happening at the mass. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary. For me the Trinitine mass does this better then the Novus Ordo. Anyway thanks again for your response and I will talk to you later.
Approved Traditional Latin Masses on the West Coast